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Award for Outstanding Research on Development (ORD) 2021

Image: Awards 2016. Barriopixel/GDN

The Japanese Award for Outstanding Research on Development (ORD) is a competitive research grant program under the Global Development Awards Competition 2021. The Awards Competition is administered by GDN and supported by the Ministry of Finance, Government of Japan. This award program identifies and funds outstanding research proposals with high potential for excellence in research and clear policy implications for addressing development issues.


GDN invited researchers from low-income or middle-income countries to submit research proposals within the theme, ‘International trade and the promotion of biodiversity,’ for the 2021 Edition of the Japanese Award for Outstanding Research on Development category of the Awards. A direct link to the COVID-19 crisis was welcome, but not required. In light of the quickly changing scenario, proposals that integrated a focus on COVID-19 and related policy responses were required to explain how the quickly changing policy landscape is likely to impact the focus of the research.

Finalists were invited to join a communications training in preparation of a pitch of their project in front of a high-level Jury that decided which research proposal to award. An online awards ceremony took place as part of the 'Evidence for Development: What Works Global Summit 2021', and projects are expected to start on 15 Jan 2022. The awards were given to the researcher(s) whose proposals held the greatest promise for improving our understanding of development issues and puts forth clear, articulate and well-researched policy implications to address relevant development problems.

The first prize winner will receive a grant of US$ 30,000. The second prize and third prize winners will receive a grant of US$ 10,000 and US$ 5,000 respectively. The funds will be used to support the research work proposed by the winners towards the completion of their research. Additionally, awardees will be paired with world-class academic in their area of work who will play the role of a Scientific and Technical Advisor to the winners.

  • 1st prize winner | Abdul-Hanan Abdallah. Institution: University for Development Studies, Ghana. Research proposal: Implication of Large-scale Agricultural Investment on Biodiversity: Evidence from Mixed-Method Study of Farm Households in Northern Ghana
  • 2nd prize winner | Roger Merino. Institution: Universidad del Pacifico - Research Center (CIUP), Peru. Research proposal: Global Amazon: Harmonizing development visions and multi-scalar interventions in the building of a pluriversal governance
  • 3rd prize winner | Chukwuka Onyekwena. Institution: Centre for the Study of the Economies of Africa (CSEA), Nigeria. Research proposal: Evaluation of the African Continental Free Trade Area (AfCFTA) on Africa’s Biodiversity


  • ChairIzumi Ohno, Professor, National Graduate Institute for Policy Studies (GRIPS), Japan. Senior Research Advisor, JICA Ogata Sadako Research Institute for Peace and Development
  • L. Alan Winters, Professor, University of Sussex Business, UK
  • Elpidio Peria, Technical Consultant, ASEAN Centre for Biodiversity, Philippines
  • Marianne Kettunen, Senior Policy Advisor and Head of Partnerships at the Forum on Trade, Environment and the SDGs (TESS Forum) 


  • Deadline for submissions: 29 July 2021
  • Announcement of Eligibility screening results: 30 July 2021
  • Announcement of First Level review results (shortlisted applications) and comments from reviewers: 30 August 2021
  • Resubmission of updated application by the shortlisted applicants: 4 September 2021
  • Announcement of Second Level review results (finalists) and comments from reviewers: 6 October 2021
  • Resubmission of updated applications by the finalists: 11 October 2021
  • Communication Training for finalists: 11-15 October 2021 (online)
  • Finalists presentation at the Conference: 18-27 October 2021 (online - specific date to be confirmed)
  • Announcement of winners: 27 October 2021

Note: Are you part of a non-profit Non-Governmental Organizations (NGOs) or Civil Society Organizations (CSOs) from a low or lower-middle-income country? Check the call for the 2021 edition of the Japanese Award for Most Innovative Development Project (MIDP).

Call for Proposals (competition guidelines, eligibility and review criteria, application procedure, selection process and a detailed description of the theme) | ORD Application Template  | FAQs | Call for ORD Reviewers | Call for a Communications Training Consultant